Holland America Line announced it will more than double its previously announced Bermuda cruises in 2010 from 11 to 24 beginning on April 25, 2010. Sailing roundtrip from New York aboard ms Veendam, the cruises will visit both Hamilton and St. George's, Bermuda's cultural and shopping hubs.
"This is a wonderful development for Holland America Line and Bermuda," said Richard D. Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "We are thrilled to homeport a ship in New York City to sail to Bermuda and our extended season to the islands will be very exciting to our guests."
When the 1,350-guest ms Veendam sails in April on the first of 24 seven-day roundtrips to the island, it will mark Holland America Line's return to New York City as a home port and to Bermuda as a destination. Additionally, guests of Holland America Line will have an opportunity to fully experience Bermuda's British charm and its unique island culture by day and by night with multi-day stays in Hamilton and St. George's. The itinerary calls for approximately two and half days in each port. The season lasts until October 10, 2010.
"Veendam is ideal for this itinerary," Meadows noted. "She is a premium mid-size ship, the perfect size to navigate the narrow entrances to the harbors in Hamilton and St. George's. Veendam's guests are able to step off the ship right in the center of each town. Ships larger than Veendam must tie up at the Dockyard facility a considerable distance from both towns."
Bermuda offers many activities for the entire family, from historic discoveries, active pursuits such as horseback riding and kayaking and wonderful beaches with swimming and snorkeling. The island is also known for world-renowned golf courses.
Holland America Line worked closely with the Bermudian government to form the partnership that takes Holland America Line back to the island that it first visited more than 70 years ago. In 1926, Veendam II, with a guest capacity of approximately 500, left New York on the company's first Caribbean cruise. During the summers of 1930 and 1931, Veendam II sailed on five-day roundtrip cruises between New York and Bermuda.
Founded in 1609, the town of St. George's in the northeast area of Bermuda is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the second oldest settlement in North America. Only Jamestown in the United States is older. Narrow, twisting streets and pastel-painted houses create a European feel. The oldest Anglican Church in North America is in St. George's and many other historic buildings, most made of stone, have been preserved. More than a dozen forts dating to the 17th century are scattered in the hills surrounding the town.
Hamilton, the major commercial hub and seat of government, is in the geographic center of the island and is close to south shore beaches. Veendam will dock at the town's front door just steps from Front Street and its colorful array of shops and restaurants. Hamilton is home to a massive 19th-century, neo-Gothic cathedral and the Georgian-style Sessions House dating to 1815.